Artist Spotlight

For 13 years, local artist and design firm owner Mark Murphy has curated Comic-Con-inspired art shows that introduce viewers to artists from San Diego and across the country. This year, Murphy - whose company has published books for the likes of Cartoon Network, Green Day and Clint Eastwood - is working with The Media Design School of Digital Arts at NewSchool of Architecture and Design to produce ArtExpo. Free for the public to attend, the three-day event will be a feast for those with an appetite for comics, graphic novels, zines and all things DIY-artsy.

Among ArtExpo’s participating artists is Los Angeles-based illustrator Mark Todd. When he’s not illustrating the pages of The New York Times, Rolling Stone and Entertainment Weekly, Todd is usually teaching courses at his alma mater, Art Center in Pasadena, or collaborating with his wife Ester Pearl Watson on their zine project, “Fun Chicken.”

“We met in art school,” says Todd of his wife. “At first, I was attracted to her work because it was similar to my own.”

Over the years, their styles have grown further apart, Todd says, but now they’re working more closely than ever, collaborating on projects in a shared studio space. Meet the couple and see their work at their ArtExpo booth.

Visit ArtExpo’s Facebook page to RSVP for a VIP party on July 24, 3 to 8p.m. Admission to the opening night celebration (Friday, July 25, 5 to 8 p.m.) is free and open to the public, as is Saturday’s showing from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

7/24-26: ArtExpo SD
NewSchool of Architecture and Design’s Wonderbread Building
171 14th St., East Village